Subscribe: Neuropsychology - Vol 24, Iss 1
http://content.apa.org/journals/neu.rss
Preview: Neuropsychology - Vol 24, Iss 1

Neuropsychology - Vol 31, Iss 5



Neuropsychology focuses on (a) basic research, (b) the integration of basic and applied research, and (c) improved practice in the field of neuropsychology. The primary function of Neuropsychology is to publish original, empirical research on the relation



Last Build Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2017 15:00:17 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2017 American Psychological Association
 



Working memory mediates the effects of gestational age at birth on expressive language development in children.

2017-04-06

Objective: This study tested the role of temporary memory, measured by phonological short-term memory (pSTM) and verbal working memory (vWM), as a mediator of the effect of 3 putative risk factors (i.e., socioeconomic status, home literacy environment, birth gestational age) upon expressive and receptive language. Method: A community-based sample of 646 Italian children aged 6–11 years was assessed with a comprehensive battery of language and cognitive tests. A mediation analysis was used to examine whether memory mediates environmental/biological effects on language. Results: The results demonstrated a developmental cascade of effects, whereby the duration of pregnancy drives vWM functioning that, in turn, may affect expressive linguistic outcome Conclusion: Treatments focused on vWM, specifically to preterm children, may improve their language development, with enduring consequences on educational and psychosocial outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Long-term classroom functioning and its association with neuropsychological and academic performance following traumatic brain injury during early childhood.

2017-06-19

Objective: The present study utilized ecobehavioral assessment to examine classroom functioning several years following early childhood traumatic brain injury (TBI) or orthopedic injury (OI) and its association with injury factors, neuropsychological abilities, and academic performance. Method: Participants included 39 children with moderate to severe TBI and 51 children with OI sustained between ages 3 and 7 years. At 7.2 (± 1.3) years post injury, ecobehavioral assessment was used to examine classroom functioning. Additional outcomes included neuropsychological tests, parent and teacher ratings of dysexecutive behavior, and teacher ratings of academic performance. Groups were compared on measures controlling for demographic characteristics, and associations among outcomes were examined using linear regression. Results: Children with TBI showed lower academic engagement relative to children with OI, as well as more frequent individual teacher attention for children with more severe injuries. For children with TBI, difficulties in classroom functioning were associated with lower cognitive flexibility and higher parent and teacher ratings of dysexecutive behavior. Lower scores on a test of fluid reasoning and a greater frequency of individual teacher attention were also associated with lower academic performance in children with TBI. Conclusions: Difficulties in classroom functioning are evident several years after early childhood TBI and were associated with greater injury severity, neuropsychological weaknesses, and poorer academic performance. Children with impaired cognitive flexibility and fluid reasoning skills were at greatest risk for these difficulties and associated weaknesses in academic performance. Instructional interactions may be a potential target for intervention to promote academic progress in at-risk children. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



The family environment predicts long-term academic achievement and classroom behavior following traumatic brain injury in early childhood.

2017-05-25

Objective: This study examined how the family environment predicts long-term academic and behavioral functioning in school following traumatic brain injury (TBI) in early childhood. Method: Using a concurrent cohort, prospective design, 15 children with severe TBI, 39 with moderate TBI, and 70 with orthopedic injury (OI) who were injured when they were 3–7 years of age were compared on tests of academic achievement and parent and teacher ratings of school performance and behavior on average 6.83 years postinjury. Soon after injury and at the longer term follow-up, families completed measures of parental psychological distress, family functioning, and quality of the home environment. Hierarchical linear regression analyses examined group differences in academic outcomes and their associations with measures of the early and later family environment. Results: The severe TBI group, but not the moderate TBI group, performed worse than did the OI group on all achievement tests, parent ratings of academic performance, and teacher ratings of internalizing problems. Higher quality early and late home environments predicted stronger academic skills and better classroom behavior for children with both TBI and OI. The early family environment more consistently predicted academic achievement, whereas the later family environment more consistently predicted classroom functioning. The quality of the home environment predicted academic outcomes more strongly than did parental psychological distress or family functioning. Conclusion: TBI in early childhood has long-term consequences for academic achievement and school performance and behavior. Higher quality early and later home environments predict better school outcomes for both children with TBI and children with OI. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Relation of white-matter microstructure to reading ability and disability in beginning readers.

2016-03-07

[Correction Notice: An Erratum for this article was reported in Vol 31(5) of Neuropsychology (see record 2017-22816-001). Errors in the dataset owing to two incorrect scores have skewed results. In the 2nd paragraph of the Results section, the 2nd sentence should read: “Within the typical reader group, FA in the left AF correlated negatively with pseudoword reading (WRMT-III Word Attack: rs = .37, p = .064), but not real-word reading (WRMT-III Word Identification: rs = .07, p = .75).” The 4th sentence of the 3rd paragraph should read: “The negative correlation between FA and Word Attack in the typical reader group was driven by Daxial (Dradial: rs = .19, p = .373, Daxial: rs = .38, p = .060).” The 2nd sentence of the 4th paragraph should read: “Results of this analysis replicated those of the larger reading disability group, with a statistically greater reduction of FA in this more severely affected group (p = .008) that was associated with a significant increase in Dradial (p = .008) and no difference in Daxial (p = .47).” In Table 1, for the typical reader group, the resulting values should read: age, 94.00 ± 7.66; KBIT-2–Matrices, 118.31 ± 15.24; WRMT-III–Word Identification, 119.00 ± 9.33; WRMT-III–Word Attack, 114.04 ± 9.31; and TOWRE-2–Sight Word Efficiency, 114.48 ± 8.07. For the reading disability group, the resulting values for age and TOWRE-2– Phonemic Decoding Efficiency should be 93.65 ± 7.81 and 81.76 ± 9.33, respectively. The p values for age and KBIT-2–Matrices should be .87 and .172, respectively. In Figure 3, the image for the typical reader group has been replaced. All versions of this article have been corrected.] Objective: We examined the white-matter microstructure of the left arcuate fasciculus, which has been associated with reading ability, in beginning readers with or without reading disability. Method: Groups were typically reading children (n = 26) or children with reading disability (n = 26), Ages 6–9, and equated on nonverbal cognitive abilities. Diffusion-weighted images were collected and TRACULA was used to extract fractional anisotropy measures from the left arcuate fasciculus. Results: White-matter microstructure was altered in children with reading disability, who exhibited significantly reduced fractional anisotropy in the left arcuate fasciculus. Among typically reading children, lower fractional anisotropy of the left arcuate fasciculus was associated with superior pseudoword reading performance. Both the group differences and variation in reading scores among the children with reading disability were associated with radial diffusivity (but not axial diffusivity), whereas variation in reading scores among typically reading children was associated with axial diffusivity (but not radial diffusivity). Conclusions: The paradoxical findings that lower fractional anisotropy was associated both with reading disability and also with better phonological awareness in typical reading development suggest that there are different maturational trajectories of white-matter microstructure in typical readers and children with reading disability, and that this difference is unique to the beginning stages of reading acquisition. The finding that reading disability was associated with radial diffusivity, but that variation in ability among typically developing readers was associated with axial diffusivity, suggests that different neural mechanisms may be associated with reading development in children with or without reading disability. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Emotion processing in early blind and sighted individuals.

2017-03-13

Objective: Emotion processing is known to be mediated by a complex network of cortical and subcortical regions with evidence of specialized hemispheric lateralization within the brain. In light of prior evidence indicating that lateralization of cognitive functions (such as language) may depend on normal visual development, we investigated whether the lack of prior visual experience would have an impact on the development of specialized hemispheric lateralization in emotional processing. Method: We addressed this issue by comparing performance in early blind and sighted controls on a dichotic listening task requiring the detection of specific emotional vocalizations (i.e., suggestive of happiness or sadness) presented independently to either ear. Results: Consistent with previous studies, we found that sighted individuals showed enhanced detection of positive vocalizations when presented in the right ear (i.e., processed within the left hemisphere) and negative vocalizations when presented in the left ear (i.e., right hemisphere). It is interesting to note that although blind individuals were as accurate as sighted controls in detecting the valance of the vocalization, performance was not consistent with any pattern of specialized hemispheric lateralization. Conclusions: Overall, these results suggest that although the lack of prior visual experience may not lead to impaired emotion processing performance, the underlying neurophysiological substrate (i.e., degree of special hemispheric lateralization) may depend on normal visual development. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



“Relation of white-matter microstructure to reading ability and disability in beginning readers”: Correction to Christodoulou et al. (2016).

2017-05-25

Reports an error in "Relation of White-Matter Microstructure to Reading Ability and Disability in Beginning Readers" by Joanna A. Christodoulou, Jack Murtagh, Abigail Cyr, Tyler K. Perrachione, Patricia Chang, Kelly Halverson, Pamela Hook, Anastasia Yendiki, Satrajit Ghosh and John D. E. Gabrieli (Neuropsychology, Advanced Online Publication, Mar 7, 2016, np). Errors in the dataset owing to two incorrect scores have skewed results. In the 2nd paragraph of the Results section, the 2nd sentence should read: “Within the typical reader group, FA in the left AF correlated negatively with pseudoword reading (WRMT-III Word Attack: rs = .37, p = .064), but not real-word reading (WRMT-III Word Identification: rs = .07, p = .75).” The 4th sentence of the 3rd paragraph should read: “The negative correlation between FA and Word Attack in the typical reader group was driven by Daxial (Dradial: rs = .19, p = .373, Daxial: rs = .38, p = .060).” The 2nd sentence of the 4th paragraph should read: “Results of this analysis replicated those of the larger reading disability group, with a statistically greater reduction of FA in this more severely affected group (p = .008) that was associated with a significant increase in Dradial (p = .008) and no difference in Daxial (p = .47).” In Table 1, for the typical reader group, the resulting values should read: age, 94.00 ± 7.66; KBIT-2–Matrices, 118.31 ± 15.24; WRMT-III–Word Identification, 119.00 ± 9.33; WRMT-III–Word Attack, 114.04 ± 9.31; and TOWRE-2–Sight Word Efficiency, 114.48 ± 8.07. For the reading disability group, the resulting values for age and TOWRE-2– Phonemic Decoding Efficiency should be 93.65 ± 7.81 and 81.76 ± 9.33, respectively. The p values for age and KBIT-2–Matrices should be .87 and .172, respectively. In Figure 3, the image for the typical reader group has been replaced. All versions of this article have been corrected. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2016-11389-001.) Objective: We examined the white-matter microstructure of the left arcuate fasciculus, which has been associated with reading ability, in beginning readers with or without reading disability. Method: Groups were typically reading children (n = 26) or children with reading disability (n = 26), Ages 6–9, and equated on nonverbal cognitive abilities. Diffusion-weighted images were collected and TRACULA was used to extract fractional anisotropy measures from the left arcuate fasciculus. Results: White-matter microstructure was altered in children with reading disability, who exhibited significantly reduced fractional anisotropy in the left arcuate fasciculus. Among typically reading children, lower fractional anisotropy of the left arcuate fasciculus was associated with superior pseudoword reading performance. Both the group differences and variation in reading scores among the children with reading disability were associated with radial diffusivity (but not axial diffusivity), whereas variation in reading scores among typically reading children was associated with axial diffusivity (but not radial diffusivity). Conclusions: The paradoxical findings that lower fractional anisotropy was associated both with reading disability and also with better phonological awareness in typical reading development suggest that there are different maturational trajectories of white-matter microstructure in typical readers and children with reading disability, and that this difference is unique to the beginning stages of reading acquisition. The finding that reading disability was associated with radial diffusivity, but that variation in ability among typically developing readers was associated with axial diffusivity, suggests that different neural mechanisms may be associated with reading development in children with or without reading disability. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)[...]



The feasibility of automated eye tracking with the Early Childhood Vigilance Test of attention in younger HIV-exposed Ugandan children.

2017-05-25

Objective: Tobii eye tracking was compared with webcam-based observer scoring on an animation viewing measure of attention (Early Childhood Vigilance Test; ECVT) to evaluate the feasibility of automating measurement and scoring. Outcomes from both scoring approaches were compared with the Mullen Scales of Early Learning (MSEL), Color-Object Association Test (COAT), and Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function for preschool children (BRIEF-P). Method: A total of 44 children 44 to 65 months of age were evaluated with the ECVT, COAT, MSEL, and BRIEF-P. Tobii ×2-30 portable infrared cameras were programmed to monitor pupil direction during the ECVT 6-min animation and compared with observer-based PROCODER webcam scoring. Results: Children watched 78% of the cartoon (Tobii) compared with 67% (webcam scoring), although the 2 measures were highly correlated (r = .90, p = .001). It is possible for 2 such measures to be highly correlated even if one is consistently higher than the other (Bergemann et al., 2012). Both ECVT Tobii and webcam ECVT measures significantly correlated with COAT immediate recall (r = .37, p = .02 vs. r = .38, p = .01, respectively) and total recall (r = .33, p = .06 vs. r = .42, p = .005) measures. However, neither the Tobii eye tracking nor PROCODER webcam ECVT measures of attention correlated with MSEL composite cognitive performance or BRIEF-P global executive composite. Conclusion: ECVT scoring using Tobii eye tracking is feasible with at-risk very young African children and consistent with webcam-based scoring approaches in their correspondence to one another and other neurocognitive performance-based measures. By automating measurement and scoring, eye tracking technologies can improve the efficiency and help better standardize ECVT testing of attention in younger children. This holds promise for other neurodevelopmental tests where eye movements, tracking, and gaze length can provide important behavioral markers of neuropsychological and neurodevelopmental processes associated with such tests. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Visual short term memory related brain activity predicts mathematical abilities.

2017-04-06

Objective: Previous research suggests visual short-term memory (VSTM) capacity and mathematical abilities are significantly related. Moreover, both processes activate similar brain regions within the parietal cortex, in particular, the intraparietal sulcus; however, it is still unclear whether the neuronal underpinnings of VSTM directly correlate with mathematical operation and reasoning abilities. The main objective was to investigate the association between parieto-occipital brain activity during the retention period of a VSTM task and performance in mathematics. Method: The authors measured mathematical abilities and VSTM capacity as well as brain activity during memory maintenance using magnetoencephalography (MEG) in 19 healthy adult participants. Event-related magnetic fields (ERFs) were computed on the MEG data. Linear regressions were used to estimate the strength of the relation between VSTM related brain activity and mathematical abilities. Results: The amplitude of parieto-occipital cerebral activity during the retention of visual information was related to performance in 2 standardized mathematical tasks: mathematical reasoning and calculation fluency. Conclusions: The findings show that brain activity during retention period of a VSTM task is associated with mathematical abilities. Contributions of VSTM processes to numerical cognition should be considered in cognitive interventions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



What do eye movements tell us about the visual perception of individuals with congenital prosopagnosia?

2017-04-03

Objective: The lack of inversion effect for face recognition in congenital prosopagnosia (CP) is consistent with the hypothesis of a failure in holistic processing. However, although CPs’ abnormal gaze behavior for upright faces has already been demonstrated, neither their scanning strategy for inverted faces, nor the possibility that their abnormal gaze behavior with upright faces is because of reasons other than the holistic deficit have been investigated yet. Method: We recorded the eye movements of a congenital prosopagnosic and a control group during the encoding of unknown faces, objects, and flowers. Two types of stimuli (faces and objects) were presented upright and inverted. Results: CPs explored upright and inverted faces in the same way (i.e., similar number of fixations of the same duration and similarly distributed), whereas controls increased the number of fixations and their duration during the presentation of inverted faces. By contrast, the 2 groups showed a similar inversion effect during the encoding of objects. Finally, CPs showed anomalous exploration of within-class objects (i.e., flowers) and impairment in subordinate-level object discrimination. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that: (a) CPs use the same part-based strategy in encoding both upright and inverted faces, suggesting a possible interpretation of the lack of inversion effect in this population; (b) CPs’ lack of inversion effect is face-specific and does not affect objects; (c) however, CPs’ deficit seems not to be limited to faces, and to extend to individual-item recognition within a class. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Does the cerebellum contribute to human navigation by processing sequential information?

2017-02-23

Objective: Several authors have proposed that the cerebellum has an important role in functions of higher order as a general mode of sequence detection, independently from the nature of the information. The aim of this study was to verify whether the cerebellum mediates the processing of navigational sequential information and to determine whether it is influenced by the modality of the stimuli presentation. Method: We tested 12 cerebellar patients and 12 healthy age-matched participants in 2 comparable navigational tasks (Walking Corsi Test and the Magic Carpet) requiring to memorizing a sequence of spatial locations. The 2 tasks differ each other for the modality of stimuli presentation: in the Walking Corsi Test the sequence is shown by an examiner that walks on the carpet, whereas in the Magic Carpet it is shown by a computer that lights up the tiles in the sequence. We hypothesize that different mental processes are implicated between the Walking Corsi Test and the Magic Carpet. Indeed, whereas watching the examiner, who performs the sequence on the carpet, allows the patient to simulate the action mentally in the Walking Corsi Test, such simulation cannot be triggered in the Magic Carpet. Results: Our results showed that cerebellar patients obtained scores significantly lower than control participants only in the Magic Carpet. Conclusions: We interpreted the patients’ performance as a specific deficit in detecting and ordering single independent stimuli as a sequence, when the maintenance of stimulus–response associations is more demanding. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Body schema and corporeal self-recognition in the alien hand syndrome.

2017-04-06

Objective: The alien hand syndrome (AHS) is a rare neuropsychological disorder characterized by involuntary, yet purposeful, hand movements. Patients with the AHS typically complain about a loss of agency associated with a feeling of estrangement for actions performed by the affected limb. The present study explores the integrity of the body representation in AHS, focusing on 2 main processes: multisensory integration and visual self-recognition of body parts. Three patients affected by AHS following a right-hemisphere stroke, with clinical symptoms akin to the posterior variant of AHS, were tested and their performance was compared with that of 18 age-matched healthy controls. Method: AHS patients and controls underwent 2 experimental tasks: a same-different visual matching task for body postures, which assessed the ability of using your own body schema for encoding others’ body postural changes (Experiment 1), and an explicit self-hand recognition task, which assessed the ability to visually recognize your own hands (Experiment 2). Results: As compared to controls, all AHS patients were unable to access a reliable multisensory representation of their alien hand and use it for decoding others’ postural changes; however, they could rely on an efficient multisensory representation of their intact (ipsilesional) hand. Two AHS patients also presented with a specific impairment in the visual self-recognition of their alien hand, but normal recognition of their intact hand. Conclusion: This evidence suggests that the AHS following a right-hemisphere stroke may involve a disruption of the multisensory representation of the alien limb; instead, self-hand recognition mechanisms may be spared. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)